A couple of weeks ago, this would have been a no-brainer. It would have been a Newcastle United win without question.
Since then, two things have happened for Crystal Palace: Tony Pulis has made them tougher to score against, and Marouane Chamakh has found his shooting boots again, prompting one Palace fan to record a parody of Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ entitled ‘Chamakh For Good’.
A win for Newcastle would not actually lift them any higher in the league, but after only one loss in the last six games, I am sure Alan Pardew will want to keep that momentum going through the festive season. He doesn’t have a lot of injuries to contend with, and although no time of the season is good for injuries, this particular time is certainly one of the worst. As of now, Ryan Taylor is the only absentee for the game.
For Pulis, a third win in four would likely see them lift themselves out of the relegation zone, depending on the other results. It would certainly signal that they are heading in the right direction. With that, the confidence is growing in the Palace camp, and it is a great time to have confidence. Games come quickly and a team can gather a decent number of points in a matter of weeks.
Pulis does have a few injuries to contend with, but if the fans can get that noise level up there again, who would bet against them?
Jason Bardwell is a Soccer writer for Rant Sports and The Sports Column. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy or on Facebook